Attended a dinner at Vespa (1117 S. Charles St., Baltimore MD) last night, as I have not been in to eat in a while. Outdid themselves, they did. This was a closed event, and it was a challenge to get 51 dinners out of that small kitchen, but everything came out expertly prepared and presented. My rockfish was perfectly cooked, the gargonzola/walnut pasta well balanced and filling, and the two meat courses (rabbit and lamb) were succulent and inviting. Remains my favorite for contemporary urban setting- great food great wine list, great folks.
Also had dinner at Martick's (on Mulberry; the address escapes me) on Friday night, celebrating my wife's big 3-0. I would recommend the restaurant for those looking for one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Food was good, but I wouldn't call it stellar. Still, I enjoyed my roast duck, and the home made paté was quite good. steamed mussels in broth were also juicy, fat, and not overdone. Wine list however, is dreadful. A shame, because the food deserves better wine. Luckily, they allowed us to bring a bottle of champagne in. Offered a glass to the waiter and to the owner/chef, but both refused, saying they don't drink. That is cool with me, but find someone who does to pick your wines, yea?
Worth going to for you Baltimoreans if only to enjoy the speak-easy feel, as they may or may not be around for much longer- the area is slated for redevelopment, which may mean demolition of this little Baltimore institution.